Pakistan Islands Development Authority: SHC disposes of petitions

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday disposed of petitions regarding presidential ordinance on Pakistan Islands Development Authority as well as agreement with a foreign country for desalination plant on Bundal and Buddo islands.

A bench of the high court was hearing the petitions challenging the presidential ordinance for constituting the Pakistan Islands Development Authority.

The federal government attorney informed the SHC that the ordinance for the islands authority had lapsed and the agreement concerned had come to an end as well.

In the previous hearing the assistant attorney general (AAG) had informed the bench that the ordinance had already lapsed by January 3, which was promulgated by the federal government on September 22.

The court had summoned the AAG to appear with a written statement in the next hearing on February 17.

The petitioners had challenged the Pakistan Islands Development Authority Ordinance 2020 in the high court stating that the federal territory in the sea starts after 12 nautical miles, and the Bundal and Buddo islands were the properties of the province as they fell within the limit of 12 nautical miles. They also challenged the agreement for a desalination plant on these islands.

The AAG said that the islands authority as well as the agreement had come to an end. After the statement the court dismissed the petitions.

The court separated the petition filed by civil society regarding mangroves on these islands and sought a reply from the Sindh government till March 31, 2021.

Earlier, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar asked the counsel, ”What you want when the ordinance has already been lapsed?”

“My problem belongs to the province not the Centre. It is cleansing of the mangroves,” the counsel replied.

The court separated the civil society’s petition with regard to deforestation of mangroves and summoned a reply from the government of Sindh. The bench adjourned further hearing of the case until March 31.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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